located on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem,
needs your urgent help. Owned and operated by the Lutheran World Federation
(LWF), it is the main cancer and kidney center serving Palestinians in the West
Bank and Gaza.
AVH and five other East Jerusalem hospitals rely on funding each
year from the United States and the European Union to cover approximately half
the costs of patients referred to these hospitals. Currently, the AVH is owed
over $38 million of a total of $80 million to the six East Jerusalem hospitals.
However, several media reported on Sept.
7 that $25 million in 2017 U.S. government funding that was designated for AVH
and the other East Jerusalem hospitals would not be released. Approximately
half of the $25 million would be for AVH. The large amount owed to AVH is due
to the high cost of cancer medications. It is especially urgent that this
action be challenged in order to ensure ongoing treatment and to avoid putting
cancer patients in jeopardy.
Hospital is able to operate because of the support of LWF member churches, like
the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and long-standing partnerships with
countries like the United States. In the last decade, the U.S. government,
through USAID, has invested nearly $10 million in AVH to bolster its capacity
as a cancer center. In addition, the U.S. government has provided tens of
millions of dollars in aid over several years to help cover the costs of the
cancer patients and others referred to AVH and the other East Jerusalem
AVH was internationally accredited
for quality assurance and patient safety as a hospital and health care facility
in 2013 and reaccredited in 2016. AVH is also regularly inspected and
licensed by the Israeli Ministry of Health.
background information, see Briefing
Paper on AVH.
The delay in the
disbursement of the 2017 funding is contributing to an acute and severe cash flow
crisis for AVH and the other hospitals. It is the intention of the LWF to
continue to provide lifesaving treatment to patients from the West Bank and
Gaza, but AVH needs the U.S. government to release the 2017 funding as soon as
possible so the hospital can make payments to pharmaceutical suppliers of
cancer medications, pay salaries and avoid a major interruption in the
treatment of patients.
It is extremely urgent that you contact your
elected officials today!
Call the White House
hotline (202-456-1111) and use the
White House comments page to urge the president to order the release of
the $25 million for AVH and the other East Jerusalem hospitals.
Use the sample letter
below to urge your senators and representatives to contact the White House as
Dear [Decision Maker],
Thank you for your consideration,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
If you respond and have not already registered, you will receive periodic updates and communications from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.